SPOKANE RUN, APRIL 17, 2011
Sunday I found myself in Spokane tending to outside business interests with my wonderful wife, Jackie. The weather in Spokane was cold and crisp. Which is terrific if you want to bundle up and grab a choice pew for Palm Sunday. But I knew, as part of the Galloway training program, I had to run.
Hopefully God and my pastor will understand.
But here’s the deal. As a dedicated “non-runner” for the past three decades I’m not at all prepared for a walk, much less a run outside when its below 40-degrees. In fact during most of the fall and winter and okay spring of the last several years, I have walked on my tread mill in the basement if the temperature was anywhere below 50!
My cold weather running co-workers asked sarcastically in the past how I liked the sound of the spring time birds deep in my basement. I’m still working on a good come back for that.
So what to wear? I’d brought some long underwear, and sweat pants and three shirts and a light wind breaker jacket and a hat and sunglasses expecting it might be a tad chilly outside.
Much to my horror , I discovered I could not find the new running gloves I’d recently bought at Foot Traffic the same day I met Jeff Galloway.
I hope you are not this way, but I can go a little crazy looking for something like that. I feel like a Labrador trying to find the tennis ball---where is it? Where is it? Sniff here, look there. Sit down then right back up to check a forgotten corner. Jackie offered the helpful suggestion of checking all my coat pockets.
I gruffly told her I already had and did not really need the help since I had the situation under control. Except I didn’t.
By the time I reached Spokane, I resigned myself to buying a new pair of gloves. A visit to a general sporting goods store turned up nothing. A call to Big 5 revealed a lack of running gloves too. But the helpful man who answered the phone pointed me to a store called the “Runners Soul” in downtown Spokane.
Sunday morning I shivered outside their door in the 38 degree weather, waiting for the 10am opening. Inside the workers, who looked 20 and able to run 30 miles in their work clothes, were helpful as they delivered the not so good news. It’s the end of the cold season and the only gloves left were the ones hanging on the wall.
I went back and forth trying to find a pair that fit and would not be too hot but not too cold and cut the wind and not cost too much. Is that too much to ask? In the end I found a pair that are a bit too big but seemed like they’d do the job.
As I headed out onto the Spokane river front I discovered hundreds if not thousands of people heading to a 5k and 10k run ---also along the river.
I went the opposite way.
This would be a morning for solitude.
Under the Galloway program it was time to run and walk 6.5 miles. A new personal record.
I think I might have come close to that one day on a super long golf course but I’m not sure.
I plugged in my iPod—pulled on my gloves and set out to conquer the distance.
As it turned out, I only got lost three times and the river front path as it passed through the Gonzaga campus was gorgeous. The time and distance passed more quickly than I expected. I kept the run 3 minute, walk 1 minute pace suggested by our group trainer Aaron Simpson.
About an hour and twenty minutes later I’d accidently walk/run 7.4 miles.
The feeling was incredible!
I couldn’t believe it when I checked the work out tracker on my phone and saw the distance—holy cow!
As I strolled back to my car, feeling quite proud of myself, I put my hand in my coat pocket.
And there, tucked in the lower fold of the fabric, I found the original pair of gloves I’d searched for in vain.
I guess I should have listened a bit better to my wife.
Maybe I’m learning more than fitness from this running thing.
Eleven weeks till the Half Marathon!